Early Alert

Early Alert’s mission is to reduce our client’s risk and mitigate losses from all hazards that may threaten their business or organization. Early Alert accomplishes this mission by providing real-time operational consulting, backed by the most comprehensive preparedness planning and training available today.

Early Alert works with clients to analyze their vulnerability to various hazards and to design a customized program to address and manage their risk exposure. Early Alert reinforces this planning with comprehensive training in emergency management, disaster response and recovery, incident command and control and business continuity. These deliverables include adherence to key elements of the NFPA 1600 Standard on Continuity, Emergency, and Crisis Management, National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the National Response Framework (NRF), operational continuity, and regulatory compliance.

 

The direct and first-hand experience of Early Alert principles with more than fifty catastrophic events over a forty-year period, distinguishes Early Alert as the only provider of crisis, emergency, and disaster support services, whose counsel is based on practical considerations rather than prevailing theory.

Qualified Experience

Early Alert’s highly qualified team includes experienced professionals from the public, private, and military sectors who have overseen all aspects of emergency management, business continuity, preparedness planning and training, response and recovery disaster and crisis management for private sector and all levels of Government. Our all hazards “boots on the ground” experience set us apart from others.

Specialist Expertise

Early Alert has delivered specialist expertise during some of the most extreme and damaging sever weather events and man-made disasters in US history, including Hurricane Andrew, which severely devastated portions of South Florida, the Hurricane Katrina causing wide-spread destruction for the Central Gulf Coast, the destructive EF-5 tornado that nearly wiped out the City of Joplin, Missouri, to the terrorist attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon and Boston Marathon.

Industry Leaders

Early Alert has gathered together some of the most recognized authorities in Emergency Management, former FEMA Area 4 Director John Copenhaver and Billy Wagner, one of the original founders of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hurricane Liaison Team (HLT). Our Proven methods and actions testify to the competences we uphold and deliver.

Executive Team

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Co-Founder & CEO

Hans Wagner (CPM)

Mr. Wagner is a nationally distinguished emergency response, planning consultant with over 30 years of professional experience in both private and public sectors. He leads all business and growth strategies at Early Alert. Mr. Wagner retired with 23 years of fire service where he served as the City of Marathon's Fire Chief and Emergency Manager. He is a noted authority on Fire Service Command and Control, Strategies and Tactics, and the Incident Command System. Mr. Wagner has first-hand experience responding to some of the largest catastrophic disasters in our lifetime going back to Hurricane Andrew. He drew upon that experience during other Hurricanes such as George, Irene and recently serving as the emergency manager for hurricanes Charley, Frances, Jeanne, Ivan, Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Wilma and most recently Harvey and Irma. In addition, he has worked in many other emergency operations centers and command posts where he has participated as the Incident Commander, Operations and Logistics Chief. Mr. Wagner is also nationally recognized for his work as a fire instructor. He has shared his experience with other fire departments, health systems, county and municipal governing agencies, non-profits and volunteer organizations and including the private sector.

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Co-Founder, President & Chief Operating Officer

William Wagner (CEM)

William A. Wagner, III is President and a principal owner of Early Alert, Inc. Mr. Wagner is a nationally recognized senior public and private sector executive with more than 40 years’ experience public administration, managing and administering emergency management, business continuity, incident command, strategies and tactics, emergency medical and mass casualty, fire rescue operations, fire prevention, fire investigation, and several successful entrepreneurial businesses. His subject matter expertise includes project management, administering all operational, planning and training for emergencies and disasters regarding emergency preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation.

During Hurricane Andrew, he established the command post at Florida City where more than 150 firefighters began search and rescue in the first forty-eight hours following the storm where he managed a Unified Command System including over one hundred law enforcement personnel, several relief agencies and members of the Florida National Guard. He served as Incident Commander for numerous large-scale incidents and disaster including Hurricanes George, Katrina, and Wilma in the Florida Keys. He served as a recovery technician at the Value Jet disaster in the Florida Everglades. His experience includes such posts as Emergency Manager, Incident Commander, Planning Section Chief, Operations Section Chief and Logistics Section Chief. Most recently commanded and coordinated incident management support team deployments for 2017 Hurricane Harvey and Irma thought out South Florida and 2018 Hurricanes Florence and Michael. In addition to his appointment to the elite Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hurricane Liaison Team, Mr. Wagner also served on the International Association of Fire Chiefs - Emergency Management Committee - Sub-Committee for Education and Training. Additionally, he has served as an Emergency Management Coordinator for the Florida Keys and the County Coordinator for the Florida Disaster Response Plan. Mr. Wagner served as the Florida Fire Chiefs' Association: State Emergency Response Team - FEPA Liaison, South Florida - State Incident Management Team as the IC or Operations Chief, Member of the AHIMTA Interstate Incident Management Team Qualifications System (IIMTQS) Committee and the Emergency Interoperability Consortium.

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Senior Vice President

Andy Eans

Chief Advisor; Global Programs Integration; US West Coast and Asia-Pacific, Business Development and Operations; Strategic Development, Products and Services; Business Scaling Unit; and Physical Products Unit. Mr. Eans began his emergency management career as Assistant Director for Bartholomew County Emergency Management, in his hometown of Columbus, Indiana. Enjoying both, the strong support of elected officials, and a robust cooperative relationship with Cummins Engine Company, whose global headquarters are located in Columbus. Mr. Eans began acquiring expertise in business continuity, in 1988, at the behest of his friend and mentor Charles Tyree, who at the time was the Director of Global Security, for Cummins Engine Company, and who had come to Cummins as a retired CIA analyst. Mr. Eans came to the attention of Monroe County, FL. Emergency Management Director, and emergency management legend, Billy Wagner, Jr. Together with Mr. Wagner, Of particular note the production of a “first of its kind” national award winning evacuation plan which included: the first use of a staged evacuation; the first adoption of “decision arcs” as a means of initiating emergency declarations; the first use of “refuges of last resort” as an approved concept in population protection; the first dedicated airlift of medical special needs persons to a remote location, capable of maintaining necessary levels of care; and the first formal and cooperative designation of a Monroe County public shelter, located in an adjacent jurisdiction.

Following the successful implementation of this plan, during the county-wide evacuation from Hurricane Andrew, Mr. Eans was designated Incident Commander of Monroe County Operations, in Florida City, Florida. While serving in this capacity, Mr. Eans engaged in a course of action which led to the establishment of the first ever, forward deployed, ad hoc, Emergency Operation Center. This EOC supported a full-time staff of 75 who managed the entirety of what would, at its maximum, be 12,000 persons working in support of the disaster response. The 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake occurred in Sichuan, China, at a time that Mr. Eans was close enough to feel it. Mr. Eans self-deployed into this tragedy, which took the lives of 90,000 persons. After earning a formal credential from the City of Mianyang (pop. 6 million), Mr. Eans was able to operate independently, as a volunteer, and as the only Westerner permitted to participate in the ongoing efforts, in support of all things to which he could attach himself. This led to a further validation of the Florida City operational concept, and further proved that these operating principles are, in fact, universal, as they are equally applicable under a federal system of government, within business markets, and under a Chinese system which differs, fundamentally, from all else.

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Director EMEA

Graeme A Scott

Graeme is a creative tech entrepreneur with nearly two decades of experience in technology, design and entertainment industries. Former artist manager of 4 Grammy winning Sam Smith, Graeme specializes in developing projects and taking to market. Past work includes Apple, Girls Aloud, Warner, HP, Sam Smith, Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy Movie, UK Government, BMW, Unilever and British Land among others. Graeme's focus is on technology innovation for Early Alert.

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Director EMEA

Mark Heley (MC)

Awarded the Military Cross by HM Queen Elizabeth II for his gallantry during conflict, Mark is an experienced Operations Manager and Security Risk Consultant with a proven track record of success in the military (Airborne Forces) and commercial market sector, providing high-level strategic operational planning control to build consistently improved organizational performance. A strong leader, Mark provides invaluable skills to Early Alert Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

Executive Advisory Team

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Chief Advisor and Senior Emergency Management Specialist

William 'Billy' A. Wagner, Jr. BS, CEM

Billy Wagner has served for over 40+ years in public administration and management, and has gained extensive experience over his 40-year career in emergency management disaster response and planning, particularly with tropical cyclone and severe weather events. In his current position with Early Alert, he is responsible for public affairs and oversight of the emergency management team, which includes disaster mitigation, planning, response, and recovery. Billy’s actual disaster response experience includes many severe weather events, tornados, tropical storms, hurricanes, floods, oil spill response, mass immigration and urban search and rescue. Billy had the direct responsibility for the coordination of the response to over 50 Tropical Cyclone/Typhoon events. More significantly, he directed the response and recovery of 1992 Hurricane Andrew, 1996 Hurricane Bertha, 1996 Hurricane Lili, 1998 Hurricane Georges and TS Mitch, 1999 Hurricane Floyd, 2004 Hurricanes Charlie, Frances and Ivan, and 2005 Hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma. Other related experience and practices include direct coordination with the Tropical Prediction Center/National Hurricane Center and World Meteorological Origination and Committee Team Leader for the FEMA / Corps of Engineers Hurricane Georges, Bertha, Opal & Fran Response Assessment. Billy is the only Emergency Management representative on the American Society of Civil Engineers Task Committee, which is developing a set of guidelines on wind damage investigation, for publication as an ASCE Manual of Practice. Billy is one of the original founders of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Hurricane Liaison Team (HLT). This select group of Emergency Management professionals with hurricane experience is specially trained to serve in the National Hurricane Center (NHC). The primary role of the HLT is to provide support to federal, state and local officials whenever a tropical cyclone threatens the United States and its territories in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico basins. The HLT ensures that the emergency management community has the information needed to take proper actions in responding to the event. Billy spearheaded the development of the position of HLT coordinator, responsible for contacting the state and local emergencies managers assuring that they have received all the NHC products pertaining to the event and briefing them on any changes which may take place regarding the system between advisories. This position also has the responsibility of setting up the conference calls between the NHC and the emergency management community and high-level officials being affected, including Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands. He also handles any calls made to the NHC that are emergency management related.

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Principal Advisor & Senior Business Continuity Specialist

John B. Copenhaver, CBCP

John Copenhaver is a licensed Georgia attorney since 1979 and holds both the Member of the Business Continuity Institute (MBCI) and Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP) professional certifications. He was President Clinton’s appointee to the Directorship of FEMA Region IV, its largest regional office, from 1997 to 2001, and has since served in a number of senior executive management roles, including President and CEO of the DRI International. He was elected to the Disaster Recovery Institute International Board of Directors in 2001, and then served as their Chair from 2003-2005. As well as serving on the Editorial Board of “The Journal of Emergency Management” and formerly “The Journal of Business Continuity and Emergency Management,” John has held many distinguished appointed positions, including one to the Advisory Board of the Journal of Emergency Management, which he now holds; to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce National Security Task Force from 2007 - 2010, and to the FEMA National Advisory Council Private Sector Subcommittee from 2008 - 2010. John’s disaster operations experience ranges in scale from small (less than $20 million in assistance and fewer than 100 people involved in recovery operations) to massive (over $1 billion in assistance and over 1,000 people involved in response and recovery operations). He directed implementation of the United States’ largest disaster recovery / housing buyout and relocation program after Hurricane Floyd in eastern North Carolina, involving purchase of over 1,100 homes in flood prone areas and relocation of occupants to safer homes outside known floodplains; Federal dollars spent in this program exceeded $400 million. John directed the hazardous materials programs for the Southeastern U.S., including oversight of the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) and the Radiological Emergency Program (REP), both involving multimillion-dollar budgets and considerable Congressional oversight.

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Chief Advisor Hazardous Weather

Kermit Keeter, BA & BS

Chief Adviser to the MET Team, Kermit's advanced studies and degrees in both meteorology (B.S., North Carolina State University, 1976) and psychology (B.A., East Carolina University, 1968) provided the foundation for a nearly 30 year NWS career that emphasized winter and severe storms, forecast operations, applied research, professional development, critical decision making, and science outreach. Kermit began his NWS career in 1977 at Fort Worth, Texas in the tornado prone region of North Texas. In 1983, he was assigned to the forecast office in Raleigh North Carolina as a Lead Forecaster. From 1993 until his retirement in 2006, Kermit served as NWS Raleigh's first Science and Operations Officer, in charge of the infusion of science into forecast operations and the professional development and training of forecasters. Through several awards, NWS, NOAA, and the AMS have all recognized Kermit for his leadership in shaping, promoting, and guiding productive collaborations between NWS and North Carolina State University - a collaboration that has been funded by NOAA for sixteen consecutive years. During this time, Kermit was the chief architect for pioneering joint winter and severe storm operations with selected faculty and students, developing a university credited NWS internship course, and establishing effective protocols for conducting successful university collaborations. Kermit has co-authored and published several articles sharing the collaboration's success in developing and implementing improved forecast techniques and protocols for critical weather hazards that included: winter storms, sound side flooding, cloud to ground lightning, tornadoes associated with tropical cyclones, inland effects of land falling tropical cyclones, and cold air damming. In 2002, Kermit was recognized by NWS Eastern Region for his expertise in winter storms and for shaping the Region's best practices for predicting winter storms.

Departments

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Meteorology | Chief Meteorologist

Bryan Blankenship, BS, CJM

Bryan Blankenship is a professional with more than 35 years of comprehensive experience in meteorology and oceanography, physical and life sciences, weather management and operations, emergency management, research, education and technical training. He retired from the U.S. Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command in 2010 as a naval officer following a distinguished 30-year military career. During his tenure he served in a variety of positions of increased responsibility and complexity throughout the world both ashore and afloat. Significant duties included tours on five Flag Staffs, two aircraft carriers, amphibious carrier and the command of three Fleet Weather detachments. Following his naval career he has worked as a government technology consultant as a cybersecurity analyst. Bryan holds a bachelor’s degree in Natural Science and Mathematics from Thomas Edison State College and is a certified Department of Labor Journeyman Meteorologist and certified Navy Meteorological and Oceanographic Analyst-Forecaster. He has operational forecasting experience throughout the United States, Central and South America, Caribbean, Asia, Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, Middle East, Europe, Mediterranean, and Polar Regions. While serving as a Naval Aircrewman, on the Naval Ice Reconnaissance Team, he accumulated over 1000 flight hours while operating in the Arctic and Antarctic. Bryan has also been certified as a Navy and National Weather Service aviation, synoptic, maritime, upper air, radar, climatology, oceanographic observer since 1982 and is a graduate of numerous Navy and Air Force schools.

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Emergency Management | Director

Lisa Watson, BBA, P-EMT

Lisa has worked in local, state and federal government ranging from local municipalities to the Governor’s Authorized Representative for the State of Florida to impacted counties and FEMA’s Disaster Field Office. Primary functions have included the following: Incident Commander during many disasters (hurricanes), Planning Section Chief and Operations Section Chief for the State of Florida’s Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee. Formal higher education from colleges and universities include: Advanced Incident Management & Unified Command, Company Officer, Fire Service Instructor, Command & Control of Major Operations, Disaster Control/Emergency Readiness, Emergency Response/Haz-Mat, Emergency Planning, and Emergency Program Manager to name a few. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with strong emphasis in planning and management, and holds an Associate of Science in Emergency Services.

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Client Services | Director

Kyrie S. Wagner, CMC

Ms. Wagner has been in the emergency management profession for over 10 years in municipal lead and department head positions. Most recently, she served as the Municipal City Clerk for Islamorada, Florida, responsible for project management, public outreach, and records retention. Additionally, Kyrie has participated in emergency management planning (COOP & Mitigation), numerous Emergency Operation Center exercises, and municipal Emergency Operation Center activations during disasters. As an EA team member, Ms. Wagner is responsible for client management, social network marketing, planning, and onsite liaison and coordination. Her experience in emergency management deployments consists of hurricanes, severe weather events, oil spills and other disasters, in both private to public sector emergency management coordination. She is proficient with a number of software programs, and leads our social network marketing efforts. Kyrie is an extremely self-motivated and collaborative team member. Her project management, planning and communication skills are broad; moreover, her organizational skills and her ability to work well with people are an asset to projects in which she assists and leads. Kyrie possesses the necessary skills to effectively and efficiently plan projects from concept to completion.

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Public Sector & All Hazard Training | Director

Bob Koenig

Bob is responsible for directing our public sector and all-hazard training divisions. Bob’s oversight includes all management of government contracts and the development of training needs assessments and training plans/curriculum. Bob has over 32 years incident and emergency management experience. Bob’s emergency response deployments include numerous natural and man-made incidents including hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires and law enforcement related incidents. Additionally, Bob has responded in incident management positions to NFL Super Bowls, major league baseball World Series, Republican and Democratic conventions, Olympic Games and other incidents of national significance. Bob’s vast experience and expertise includes 20-years of serving his country with the United States Army.

Early Alert has brought together the most experienced and dynamic minds in the emergency management industry. When you partner with Early Alert, your company will be empowered by the collective knowledge and expertise of our entire team. Early Alert is proud to introduce our strategic partners to you, thereby allowing Early Alert, Inc. to provide a total solution for all your emergency management and business continuity needs.

Get in touch with Early Alert today